2012/13 FPL’s Most Popular – Defenders

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Hey lads, Matt here continuing the pre-season articles in which I analyse the most popular picks from each line and assess whether or not they will live up to the hype, or whether it’s just the clueless fpl challengers basing their team selections on these players, solely based on the teams selected by % and points scored last year without full proof research! Today I will evaluate the Defenders:


Cole- The most popular selection so far this season in defence is Chelsea’s Ashley Cole. Selected by 23.8% of teams he seems a bargain pick up at just 6.5. He is a certain starter in Chelsea’s line up at LB and is known for his marauding runs down the flank, capable of both scoring and assisting. Add this attacking threat to his likelihood of picking up clean sheets in Chelsea’s defence it seems too good an opportunity to pass up. He didn’t have his greatest season last year, missing a few games through injury and ending up with only 111 points. However Chelsea’s defensive returns should pick up this year as they climb up the ladder, bouncing back from a poor season last year. This can be proved by the fact that they picked up 4 clean sheets in their last 10 games after they had only picked up 6 previously during their campaign, lead by former manager AVB. If Chelsea can re-consolidate their back 4 and increase the number of clean sheets, along with Cole’s attacking threat (6 assists last year) then he should be a lock in anyone’s team, I know he is in mine.

Walker- Kyle Walker proved a standout defender in Spur’s improved back 4, notching up 2 goals and an assist to go with their 14 clean sheets. Scoring 140 points last campaign he was a bargain and so far 21.8% of managers have jumped on board, but this year he is priced at 6.5, the same as Ashley Cole. Since I consider Cole a must have, this doesn’t leave much room for too many more expensive defenders. Firstly you can expect a similar return from Walker this year, around 140 points. However priced at 6.5 you must weigh up all other options such as Lescott from Man City. I feel at 6.5 he is the better choice, playing in the champion’s defence which should produce higher returns than Spur’s in terms of clean sheets. You might think Walker’s attacking threats are greater, yet in less game time Lescott also managed 2 goals and 1 assist, the same as Walker. Sure Kyle may improve on his attacking returns this year, but are you willing to take that bet? I feel that Lescott is the safer option, or if you’re willing to take more of a risk Gael Clichy should provide similar attacking returns in City’s defence priced at just 6.0. Sorry Kyle, it’s a no for me.

Kompany- I’ve talked about Lescott and Clichy previously and will expand on them here. Vincent Kompany is Man City’s premier defender and it shows, priced at 7.5. He returned 3 goals and 2 assists along with 15 clean sheets. Interestingly he returned the second most points last year, behind a player that surprised me, Evra. However it has been said that he is past his prime and will not return the same this year, explaining why he will not appear in this article and why Kompany should be considered this season’s best option in defence, backing up the 21.2% of players who have decided to include him in their starting 11’s. Certain game time, clean sheets, even goals and assists! What more could you want? Unfortunately, a cheaper price. 7.5 is a lot to splash out on a defender considering the struggle we have to maintain our budgets selecting our teams anyway I believe it’s worth seeking out a cheaper option in City’s defence. As I have said Lescott should company Kompany (I’m confused as well) in the heart of City’s defence and at 6.5, with a similar ability to score off corners he seems better value to me. If you’re willing to take a risk Gael Clichy should play most games for city and provide much higher attacking returns also. At just 6.0 he seems a steal, but later on in the season as the cup competitions start to bite his game time may well drop off. However expect him to start the beginning of the season at LB and be a great pick also. If you can fit Kompany in then go for it, but I feel it is better value to go safe with Lescott (selected by 19.6%) or take a risk with Clichy (16.1%).

Shawcross- Now we research the cheaper options in defence, with Shawcross priced at just 5.0 and owned by 20.3% of managers. He has the golden ability to score off corners as well as pick up clean sheets. Stoke kept 9 clean sheets both last year and the year before that. However last year they were affected by Europe football and shouldn’t be affected this time around, which will hopefully lead to an increase in clean sheets. Shawcross increased his attacking returns last term with 2 goals and 2 assists and is seemingly a bargain pick up at 5.0. Comparing him to the competition Williams from Swansea gave the best returns last year for a defender rated 5.0 scoring 123 points last term. However (see my previous article on the goalkeepers) I stated that I don’t believe Swansea will replicate their stunning defensive returns without Brendan Rogers this season. I will talk about the other option, Colocinni next but I am confident that Shawcross will be a solid option once again in defence this year, but perhaps not the best at this price.

Colocinni- Finally I will evaluate Colocinni, priced at 5.0 and selected by 18.3% of teams. Seemingly the best route to Newcastle’s defence, Colocinni offers up great value and could be a steal for 5.0. He may not hold the attacking threat of some of the others I have reviewed, but he’s a certain starter in a solid back 4 that returned 15 clean sheets, 6 more than Stoke (Shawcross) last season. There are guys in Newcastle’s back four that may provide more attacking threat, but none with the same job security as Colocinni. If he can stay fit and Newcastle can keep up their great defensive work we saw last year then Colocinni provides a great option in defence. Do I believe that Newcastle will replicate last year’s form? Yes, and in doing so I rate Colocinni and any other Newcastle defender with decent job security (Simpson) ahead of Shawcross making him the best option at 5.0 and a brilliant choice for all fantasy managers, backing up the teams that have selected him so far.

Of the most popular defenders, I would be backing Cole as my first selection due to good job security, a solid back four, plenty of attacking threat and great value. As a cheaper option of the players above I would recommend Colocinni ahead of Shawcross and as an option in City’s defence Lescott or Clichy ahead of Kompany. I hope this was helpful for all you FPLaddicts out there and I will bring you the midfielders soon! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to give me any more ideas on articles you wish to be published or what I can help you with, you can also just hit me up on twitter (@MattCraigDT) and I will try to sort it out!

32 comments on “2012/13 FPL’s Most Popular – Defenders

  1. tseagrim

    I agree that Ashley Cole is a cheap option into Chelsea’s defence, but I’ll be passing… He isn’t really that offensively dangerous, and normally contributes the second to last pass that leads to a goal (if that makes sense, he assists the assist.) Also has only scored 6 goals in 175 appearances for Chelsea…. I dont like those numbers. Have been watching the pre-season games for Chelsea and our defence has been woeful at best… We could be leaking goals the first few games if we don’t tighten up. Agree with you on kompany/clichy and walker though. Good read mate.

  2. mattcraigdt Post Author

    Cheers, haven’t seen any pre-season games for Chelsea you might know more. Cole has had 6 and 5 assists respectively in the last 2 seasons and we know he provides an attacking threat. As far as chelsea’s defence goes I based my findings on last season, have they been playing a full defence? A lot of young lads get blooded pre-season…

    • adzman78

      Also re: kompany, he hoovers up the bonus points! It’s kind of a lottery but once the judges get their favs they give them bp’s every week! Bp’s can be as good as assists sometimes….

        • adzman78

          After they made the big song and dance about making the Bps fairer and more transparent last year… Did it even change?? It’s always the same, goals equal Bp’s.

    • tseagrim

      yeah we’ve been blooding youngsters at RB, with Ferreira at LB, but it’s our CB’s who have looked the worst. Luiz and Ivanovic have looked sloppy at best at times.

  3. mattcraigdt Post Author

    Difference being more than 3 players can receive bonus points 🙂 I did notice defenders seemed to collect more 1 or 2 point bonus hauls though…

  4. Daniel

    Does anybody else go with the theory of selecting just full backs and not centre backs as full backs are likely to get assists aswell as goals where CB’s just mainly score goals lacking in the assist column?? Just putting it out there, my back 3 is possibly going to be Riise, Walker and Richards, thoughts?

    • mattcraigdt Post Author

      Yeah I try to, a problem with some is their poor JS. Cb’s are usually picked week in week out. Don’t forget some guys can produce just as good attacking returns of corners (see Shawcross and Kompany). Richards I don’t like his js, spoken about walker and riise just didn’t produce last year. Only my opinons though…

      • adzman78

        Richards is at the Olympics, but a fair shout when he plays, I made heaps of $ on him last year , had him from rd 1 and he just kept assisting! Still got an eye on him…

  5. Davo

    As long as Chelsea don’t sign a rb I’m all over ivanovic. Also like Hangeland over shawcross.

  6. tseagrim

    I definitely see us signing at least one. Azpilicueta I reckon. If not ivanovic does look tasty! Hutchinson and Chalobah look testy at best so his JS would be fantastic.

  7. Halis Petovic

    how bout hangeland (5.0)? worth 6.5 last year and playing in a side that should get you 10+ cleansheets, also, scored 6 goals in season 2010/2011, so not only can he get you a cleansheet but he can score you a goal
    ps. hes an absolute bargain

    • mattcraigdt Post Author

      Scored only 103 points last year, didn’t miss a game. Scored 6 goals 2 years ago yes but nothing at all last year. Could be a great option at 5.0 but could also be a let down. Keep an eye out for the article Bargains Bargains Bargains and he may appear there, unfortunately I didn’t review him here as he is only selected by 11% of teams… should have a better idea come season start.

  8. Factor x

    also fairly new to this so can some help me with my team:

    gk: krul, juskalanein,

    bac: cole, lescott, colocinni, hangeland, shawcross

    mid: hazard, bale, yaya toure, modric, britton

    fwd: ba, torres, pobreynk

    nice articles guys, helping with some players but stuck on others. is that okay for a start???

    • mattcraigdt Post Author

      Very decent. Would probably be wary of Ba until we know how Newcastle will line up, expect an article reviewing this soon… Plenty of options under him which will be covered in the articles bargains bargains bargains. However apart from that like the keepers and defence, would go modric to Nolan and allow for yaya toure to silva, much more attacking minded players. Otherwise looks good 🙂

  9. tseagrim

    Factor I’d look at cheapies Lambert and Pogrebnyak. They look certain to start every game up front and at 5.0 you could do a lot worse. then you can spend that money to upgrade britton to someone more expensive!

    • mattcraigdt Post Author

      If Britton benches a simple upgrade to noble at 5.0 will do, as for lambert, he scored 27 goals and 14 assists in the nPower championship last year and will be solid at 6.0
      Pogrebnyak will also be good as he proved his worth with fulham last year (including 6 goals and a hat-trick during his short spell)…

      • tseagrim

        I think this is the year you can get away with playing one expensive player up top. then you can spend the money in the midfield, and top up there!

      • Factor x

        thanks 🙂

        so transfered ba>lambert

        now have noble and nolan with 1.0 left

        should I upgrade anyone with that or leave as is???

  10. mattcraigdt Post Author

    Shawcross to Clichy? Otherwise your sitting pretty, you could also try Nolan -> cabaye… seems a popular pick that I will analyse in the most popular mids

  11. Dan

    Firstly, lovin the site! As a first timer to FPL (and a long time DTer) its providing invaluable help so far.

    Wondering on opinions on Fabio (QPR) and Gorks (Reading) as cheaper options? My other 3 defs so far are Cole, Lescott and Colocinni (even before I read this article, so I must be close to being on the right track??)

    Also, is it worth trying to squeeze Vidic in somehow?? Many thanx again guys

    • tseagrim

      Onya Dan! Fabio looks to be a great option, as for Kaspar Gorkss, he is obviously cheap, but his status as a Reading player surely means he won’t keep clean sheets very often and this is where the majority of defenders points come from. At his price there are plenty of other starters for middle tabled clubs that will more likely keep more clean sheet! The other defenders look good. As for Vidic, at 7.0 he’s a little steep for what I like to spend. I like to spend a max of 6.5 on defenders, as one flukey goal can ruin an otherwise good score.

    • adzman78

      thanks mate… youll get hooked on fpl.. its so simple, but you cant stop!

      Fabio is a BARGAIN, should be in most teams, on loan from Manu, good attacking potential. Vidic is pretty pricey and injured to start the year, when fit he is a quality spoint scorer but id wait and see on him, gorkass hmmm i dont really rate reading clean sheet prospects but its picks like this that you can try, then trade out, you have a free trade each week!

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